Six months into building Effektif and I’m still confident we are in the 10% that won’t fail. While I am very aware that startups have a high failure rate, I’ll share some insights as to why Effektif is in a luxurious position.
First of all I’m excited cause we’re on schedule. We’re about to finish our MVD (Minimal Viable Demo :-) and it rocks. The big new thing for me with Effektif was to build a product for end users instead of a technical component for developers. It’s a new experience, but I love it. The lean startup has totally worked for us in this initial phase. As a developer, I had always had an excuse to avoid user testing. The book convinced me to expose the product early and often to real users. It has been a great help to fine-tune the user experience and even pivot on some of the concepts.
The simplest aspect actually was the technology. On top of the experiences gained from building jBPM and Activiti, I only had to incorporate a new level of scalability on the backend. On the user interface side, Willi Tscheschner is an HTML 5 rockstar. He’s been driving Signavio’s web based BPMN editor and knows a thing or two about how to build great user interfaces in the browser.
Being the CEO is also new. Earlier this year I got totally inspired by In The Plex, the book that brings the story on how Google went from ambition to changing the world. There’s a big gap between being a new CEO and the inspiration in that book ;-) That’s where Gero Decker and Torben Schreiter come in. They take up their role as coaches very serious. They are co-CEO’s of Signavio and an important reason why Effektif is in such a good situation. They started Signavio 4 years ago and turned it into a global, fast growing cloud business without requiring venture capital. Kudo’s to what they have build. I appreciate a lot them sharing their experiences to help accelerate Effektif.
Together with Gero and Torben, we tuned our strategy and market position. The current BPM systems are far too complex. Effektif will make it orders of magnitude simpler for large and small organizations to connect people workflows with their existing enterprise systems. We actually take more inspiration from new cloud services like Trello, Wufoo and Ifttt then from the existing BPM vendors. The base pricing will of Effektif will be pay-per-use and come a lot cheaper then typical BPM products. For those with budget constraints, we also will offer a version with a guaranteed maximum.
The really luxurious part of Signavio’s investment in Effektif is their sales force. With their help, Effektif will reach to much more customers and at a much faster pace then normal startups can.